Today is Wednesday, July 23, 2014

All Over the Road to Scrooges House We Go

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By ANNE DONNELL

How is “me” used in the following sentence? “My friend Jane, president of the club, appointed me chairman of refreshments.”  I bet that you’ll know; my neighbor says you won’t.  He thinks you’re good at this, all right, but this is an obscure usage. Come on, tell me what it is, Anne. Merry Christmas to you. -Former Student

Well, bless your heart, Former Student! And Merry Christmas to you. Yes, I know the answer, thank you for your faith in me. But -- I’m not telling just yet. We’ll have to approach it with some all over the road “stuff.”

[ATA (According to Anne) – Bless derives from the Old English word for blood, blod.  From that came bledsian, “to make sacred or holy with blood.” By Middle English bledsian was blessen. By 1500’s bless. Old English -- mid 5th century to mid 12th century. Middle English – 11th century to 1470’s (overlap, of course, this is life, not laboratory, not everybody gets notified, so to speak) Why so precise all of a sudden? (1470’s) That was the decade featuring the introduction of the printing press to England by William Claxton and the creation of the Chancery Standard, a written form of English used by government bureaucracy and for other official purposes.

[Bless your heart seems to point toward the belief that the heart is the center of all love and faith. Blessing that is a good thing, right? It’s said anyone in the South can safely say anything at all about someone else as long as the speaker adds, “Bless his/her heart.”]

ONLINE DEPARTMENT – some nice presents for the holiday season (Thanks, C.G.) “Aphorism: a short, pointed sentence expressing a wise or clever observation with a general truth” • The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.•  Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail. • If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have any sense at all. • Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs. • A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water. • How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night? • Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without. • Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks? • Scratch a cat and you will have a permanent job. • No one has more driving ambition than the boy who wants to buy a car. • There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity. • There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 AM; it could be a right number. • No one ever says,“It’s only a game,” when their team is winning. • I've reached the age where the happy hour is a nap. • Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it. • The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket. • Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old people running around with tattoos? And rap music will be the Golden Oldies? • Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Corvette than in a Yugo.• After 60, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead! • Always be yourself. Because the people that matter, don't mind. And the one's that mind, don't matter. • Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

And about saying “holiday season” replacing “Christmas”? Well, say it or not – your choice. And give others the same right. Getting all puffed up over this is hardly a successful invitation to someone to share your faith. Being put down is so off putting.

Perhaps you want the answer to today’s question? “Me” is a direct object. The tricky part is next: “Chairman” is an object complement. Quoting English Plus online, “An object complement is a noun, pronoun, or adjective which follows a direct object and renames it or tells what the direct object has become. It is most often used with verbs of creating or nominating such as make, name, elect, paint, call, etc.” The object complement follows the direct object and renames or modifies it – completing it. 

EXAMPLES WITH OBJECT COMPLEMENTS UNDERLINED AND PROBABLY UNNECESSARY EXPLANATION FOLLOWING, BUT IT’S THE SEASON FOR GIVING. The program made the children excited. [direct object: children; object complement: excited, a participle (word formed from verb) acting as an adjective modifying children] We elected Susan chairman. [direct object: Susan; object complement: chairman, a noun referring to the direct object]  The men’s club named Clarence “Man of the Year.” [direct object: Clarence; object complement: Man of the Year, a phrase used as a noun referring to the direct object]

Plenary and gratuitous!

“Bah! Humbug!” you say?

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